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Airship spotted over Latin American skies belongs to China


China’s Foreign Ministry admitted on Monday that the airship spotted over Latin American skies belongs to China - the second confirmation in days about its strayed airships after the one shot down by the US on Saturday leading to a new low in the US-China relations. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing in Beijing on Monday that the airship has “unexpectedly deviated” from its planned course and entered the skies over Latin America due to weather conditions and limited steering ability.

This is the second suspected Chinese airship, Beijing said has drifted off course due to the weather. U.S. Department of Defense had reportedly spotted it last week over Latin America while another suspected Chinese spy airship which entered the US airspace was shot down by the US military on Saturday.

US said that the airship which was shot down was being used for surveillance and cancelled Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Beijing hours before his departure as it said conditions were not right for any substantive talks. An outraged China reiterated that it was a civilian airship and termed US action as an “overreaction” without disclosing what actions it might take in similar situations.

The Chinese side will respond as necessary in light of the development of the situation, Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng has lodged stern representations to the US Embassy over the handling of the Chinese balloon.

“The unmanned airship has been verified to be from China and used for civilian purposes,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mao Ning said in response to media queries regarding the balloon over Latin America. China has informed the concerned parties, who have expressed their understanding of the situation, Mao said, without sharing any details about those countries. In none of the cases, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson shared any details about the “civilian companies” who according to China are the owners of the respective airships.

These were her first remarks at the daily press conferences after Blinken indefinitely postponed his trip to Beijing.
Mao reiterated on Monday that the unintended entry of the airship into US airspace is totally unexpected and isolated. “It is, however, a test for the US side’s sincerity about stabilizing and improving its relations with China and its approach to crisis management. The US side needs to work with China to properly manage differences and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation and damaging mutual trust,” she said.

440 Days ago